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Publication numberUS20090013693 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/774,701
Publication dateJan 15, 2009
Filing dateJul 9, 2007
Priority dateJul 9, 2007
Also published asEP2014989A2, EP2014989A3
Publication number11774701, 774701, US 2009/0013693 A1, US 2009/013693 A1, US 20090013693 A1, US 20090013693A1, US 2009013693 A1, US 2009013693A1, US-A1-20090013693, US-A1-2009013693, US2009/0013693A1, US2009/013693A1, US20090013693 A1, US20090013693A1, US2009013693 A1, US2009013693A1
InventorsJohn T. Ols, Stephen K. Kramer, Sheree R. Swenson-Dodge
Original AssigneeOls John T, Kramer Stephen K, Swenson-Dodge Sheree R
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Integrated fuel nozzle with feedback control for a gas turbine engine
US 20090013693 A1
Abstract
A gas turbine engine includes a combustor having a fuel nozzle assembly for delivering fuel to a combustion chamber. A sensor is at least partially housed within the fuel nozzle assembly for sensing a parameter associated with the delivery of fuel to the combustion chamber. In one example, the sensor is an optical sensor coupled to an optical decoder for ascertaining the parameter. A trim valve is in communication with the fuel nozzle assembly. A controller is in communication with the sensor and is programmed to actuate the trim valve to adjust the amount of fuel delivered through the fuel nozzle assembly in response to the parameter. In one example, an end of the optical sensor is arranged near a fuel exit of the fuel nozzle assembly. The controller actuates the trim valve for the fuel nozzle assembly to achieve a desired air/fuel ratio and/or balance the fuel delivery of the fuel nozzle assembly relative to another fuel nozzle assembly within the gas turbine engine's combustor system.
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Claims(20)
1. A gas turbine engine comprising:
a combustor including a fuel nozzle for delivering fuel to a combustion chamber; and
a sensor at least partially housed with the fuel nozzle for sensing a parameter outside the fuel nozzle associated with the fuel delivery.
2. The gas turbine engine according to claim 1, wherein the fuel nozzle includes a fuel exit, the sensor terminating near the fuel exit.
3. The gas turbine engine according to claim 1, comprising a trim valve in fluid communication with the fuel nozzle, and a controller in communication with the sensor and programmed to actuate the trim valve in response to the parameter for adjusting the fuel delivery.
4. The gas turbine engine according to claim 3, wherein the gas turbine engine includes multiple combustors each having a trim valve, the controller programmed to actuate the trim valves to balance the fuel delivery to the combustors.
5. The gas turbine engine according to claim 1, comprising a fuel source in fluid communication with the sensor for providing fuel to the fuel nozzle to cool the sensor.
6. The gas turbine engine according to claim 1, comprising compressor and turbine sections, the combustor arranged between the compressor and turbine sections.
7. The gas turbine engine according to claim 6, wherein the combustor includes a swirler for receiving air from the compressor section and providing a desired air/fuel mixture.
8. The gas turbine engine according to claim 6, comprising a housing including a diffuser case, the fuel nozzle extending through an aperture and the diffuser case, the sensor passing through the diffuser case within the fuel nozzle.
9. A gas turbine engine combustor system comprising:
a fuel nozzle at least partially housing a sensor, the sensor detecting a fuel delivery parameter;
a trim valve in communication with the fuel nozzle; and
a controller in communication with the sensor and programmed to actuate the trim valve for adjusting an amount of fuel delivered through the fuel nozzle assembly in response to the fuel delivery parameter.
10. The gas turbine engine combustor system according to claim 9, wherein the controller includes a desired air/fuel ratio, the controller programmed to actuate the trim valve to achieve the desired air/fuel ratio.
11. The gas turbine engine combustor system according to claim 9, wherein the sensor is an optical sensor for providing a field of view into a combustion chamber, the fuel delivery parameter located in the combustion chamber.
12. The gas turbine engine combustor system according to claim 11, comprising an optical decoder in communication with the sensor for interpreting the fuel delivery parameter, the controller in communication with the optical decoder for receiving the interpreted fuel delivery parameter and commanding the trim valve in response thereto.
13. The gas turbine engine combustor system according to claim 9, wherein the fuel nozzle assembly includes a fuel exit for delivering a fuel to a combustor, an end of the sensor arranged near the fuel exit.
14. The gas turbine engine combustor system according to claim 9, wherein the fuel delivery parameter includes at least one of oxygen, nitrogen, water, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and a hydrocarbon.
15. The gas turbine engine combustor system according to claim 9, wherein the fuel nozzle and sensor provide an integrated unit.
16. The gas turbine engine combustor system according to claim 15, wherein the integrated unit includes the trim valve.
17. A fuel nozzle assembly comprising:
a fuel nozzle at least partially housing a sensor, the sensor configured to detect a fuel delivery parameter.
18. The fuel nozzle assembly according to claim 17, wherein the fuel nozzle assembly includes a fuel exit, and an end of the sensor is arranged near the fuel exit.
19. The fuel nozzle assembly according to claim 18, wherein the sensor is an optical sensor.
20. The fuel nozzle assembly according to claim 17, wherein the fuel nozzle assembly and sensor provide an integrated unit that includes a trim valve.
Description

This invention was made with government support with the United States Air Force under Contract No.: F33615-98-2-2903. The government therefore has certain rights in this invention.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a gas turbine engine combustor system, and more particularly, the invention relates to a fuel nozzle having a sensor to provide feedback control for the combustor system.

Gas turbine engines typically include a combustor system having multiple fuel nozzles. It is desirable to balance the fuel delivered by the fuel nozzles relative to one another to achieve uniform combustion across the combustor system and improve fuel efficiency. To this end, feedback control systems have been proposed and used on industrial gas turbine engines. Industrial gas turbine engines that use feedback controls employ a separate sensor, valve and fuel nozzle. Such a solution is too heavy for an aircraft gas turbine engine. Furthermore, separate components require additional penetrations into a housing diffuser case in the combustor system. Industrial gas turbine engine feedback control systems also have not been employed in gas turbine engines used on aircraft due to elevated temperatures and pressures in the combustor system of these engines.

What is needed is a feedback control system for a combustor system of an aircraft gas turbine engine that does not significantly increase weight, reduce reliability, or compromise the structural integrity of the engine. It is also desirable that the feedback control system be robust and easily replaced.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A gas turbine engine includes a combustor having a fuel nozzle assembly for delivering fuel to a combustion chamber. A sensor is at least partially housed within the fuel nozzle assembly for sensing a parameter associated with the delivery of fuel to the combustion chamber. In one example, the sensor is an optical sensor coupled to an optical decoder for ascertaining the parameter. A trim valve is in communication with the fuel nozzle assembly. A controller is in communication with the sensor and is programmed to actuate the trim valve to adjust the amount of fuel delivered through the fuel nozzle assembly in response to the parameter.

In one example, an end of the optical sensor is arranged near a fuel exit of the fuel nozzle assembly. The optical sensor “sees” into the combustion chamber and detects at least one of oxygen, nitrogen, water, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and a hydrocarbon to determine an air fuel ratio within the combustion chamber, in one example. The controller actuates the trim valve for the fuel nozzle assembly to achieve a desired air/fuel ratio and/or balance the fuel delivery of the fuel nozzle assembly relative to another fuel nozzle assembly within the gas turbine engine's combustor system.

These and other features of the present invention can be best understood from the following specification and drawings, the following of which is a brief description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of a portion of a combustor system illustrated schematically between a compressor section and a turbine section of a gas turbine engine.

FIG. 2 schematically illustrates a portion of an annular combustor system.

FIG. 3 is an end view of an example fuel nozzle assembly including a sensor.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A gas turbine engine 10 is shown in FIG. 1. The engine 10 includes a combustor system 16 arranged between a compressor section 12 and a turbine section 14. The engine 10 includes a housing 18. The housing 18 includes a diffuser case 20 arranged between the compressor section 12 and the combustor system 16.

A fuel source 25 provides fuel to a fuel nozzle 24 for delivery to a combustion chamber 28. The fuel nozzle 24 extends through an aperture 21 in the diffuser case 20. An end of the fuel nozzle 24 is arranged at an inlet 26 of the combustion chamber 28. A swirler 27 provides desired airflow motion from the compressor section 12 to achieve a desired air/fuel mixture. A wall 30 of the combustion chamber 28 typically includes one or more igniters used to begin combustion of the air/fuel mixture.

In one example, the combustion system 16 includes an annular combustor 32, which is schematically depicted in FIG. 2. An annular combustor 32 includes multiple fuel nozzles 24, which each include their own trim valve 34, in one example (only one of which is illustrated in FIG. 1). In one example, each fuel nozzle 24 delivers fuel to a respective section of the combustion chamber 28.

Referring to FIG. 1, the fuel nozzle 24 includes a nozzle housing 36 terminating in a fuel exit 38 that delivers fuel to the combustion chamber 28. A sensor 40 is at least partially arranged within the nozzle housing 36. Fuel provided by the fuel source 25 to the fuel nozzle 24 cools the sensor 40. In one example shown in FIG. 3, an end 41 of the sensor 40 is arranged near the fuel exit 38 of the nozzle housing 36. The nozzle housing 36 shields the sensor 40 from the harsh environment of the combustor system 16. Introducing the sensor 40 to the combustor system 16 using the fuel nozzle 24 does not require additional apertures to be provided in the diffuser case 20 or other portions of the housing 18.

In one example, the sensor 40 is an optical sensor. An ion sensor or pressure sensor may also be used, for example. The sensor 40 can be provided by sapphire or quartz fibers or any other suitable material. The sensor 40 communicates with an optical decoder 42. In one example, the fuel nozzle 24, trim valve 34, sensor 40 and optical decoder 42 are integrated to provide an easily replaceable unit. Such an integrated unit also reduces external electrical connections. The sensor 40 detects a fuel delivery parameter associated with the combustor system 16. In one example, the sensor “sees” a cone-shaped field of view into the combustion chamber 28 in a wave length spectrum capable of detecting an amount of fuel, oxygen, nitrogen, water, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and/or hydrocarbon, for example.

A controller 44 communicates with the sensor 40 through the optical decoder 42 in the example. Using the detected fuel delivery parameter, the controller 44 can determine an air/fuel ratio within a given combustion chamber 28. The controller 44 is programmed to actuate the trim valve 34 to achieve a desired air/fuel ratio within the combustion chamber 28 and/or, balance the air/fuel ratio and/or fuel delivery to that of another combustion chamber 28. The controller 44 is used, for example, to minimize differences between the combustion chambers 28 within a combustion system thereby increasing overall fuel efficiency. Smoke, particulates and other engine emissions are also reduced.

Although preferred embodiments of this invention have been disclosed, a worker of ordinary skill in this art would recognize that certain modifications would come within the scope of this invention. For that reason, the following claims should be studied to determine the true scope and content of this invention.

Patent Citations
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US5423175 *Dec 16, 1993Jun 13, 1995General Electric Co.Fuel trim system for a multiple chamber gas turbine combustion system
US5615555 *Oct 12, 1994Apr 1, 1997European Gas Turbines LimitedFor a turbine-engine combustor
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7665305Dec 29, 2005Feb 23, 2010Delavan IncValve assembly for modulating fuel flow to a gas turbine engine
US7775052Nov 17, 2006Aug 17, 2010Delavan IncActive combustion control system for gas turbine engines
US8162287Sep 22, 2008Apr 24, 2012Delavan IncValve assembly for modulating fuel flow to a gas turbine engine
US8200410Mar 12, 2008Jun 12, 2012Delavan IncActive pattern factor control for gas turbine engines
US8239114Feb 10, 2009Aug 7, 2012Delavan IncMethods and systems for modulating fuel flow for gas turbine engines
US8397515 *Apr 30, 2009Mar 19, 2013General Electric CompanyFuel nozzle flashback detection
US8417434May 22, 2012Apr 9, 2013Delavan IncActive pattern factor control for gas turbine engines
US8434310Dec 3, 2009May 7, 2013Delavan IncTrim valves for modulating fluid flow
US8483931May 22, 2012Jul 9, 2013Delavan Inc.Active pattern factor control for gas turbine engines
US20100275573 *Apr 30, 2009Nov 4, 2010General Electric CompanyFuel nozzle flashback detection
Classifications
U.S. Classification60/735, 60/737, 701/100
International ClassificationF02C9/28, F02C7/22
Cooperative ClassificationF23N2041/20, F23N5/082, F23N1/005, F23R3/286, Y02T50/677, F23N5/003
European ClassificationF23N5/00B, F23N5/08B, F23R3/28D, F23N1/00D
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 9, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: UNITED TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION, CONNECTICUT
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:OLS, JOHN T.;KRAMER, STEPHEN K.;SWENSON-DODGE, SHEREE R.;REEL/FRAME:019528/0518
Effective date: 20070702